If you’re missing teeth or just struggling with unhealthy teeth, you may be considering dentures or dental implants, wondering which treatment makes more sense for you, and if it’s worth the investment. How important is it to replace faulty teeth and do dentures or dental implants make a better choice for you?
Do Decayed or Missing Teeth Really Need to Be Replaced?
You might get by with missing teeth as your gums seem to toughen up to help chew harder foods, and you might get by with cracked, decaying teeth until they fall out. But, neglecting these gaps or teeth can wreak havoc on your mouth and body in many ways.
Just one missing or decayed tooth can leave surrounding gums and teeth vulnerable to food getting stuck and bacteria entering your saliva and system. Plus, neighbouring teeth may move to fill in the gap, potentially causing a shift in your entire jawbone over time. Then as your teeth shift and become more volatile, they become more likely to decay and fall out.
That’s why neglecting even just one unhealthy tooth can start a slippery downward spiral.
When you live with one or several unhealthy or missing teeth over a long period of time, you are putting yourself at risk for a number of challenges, including:
• A shift in your jawbone can impair your speech and change your facial structure.
• You may lose confidence and become more introverted or even antisocial.
• You may become unable to chew nutritious foods needed to keep your body healthy and to ward off obesity.
• You may become more susceptible to gum disease, which has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and stokes.
Instead of ‘getting by’ with decrepit teeth, be proactive and consider getting dentures or dental implants to keep your mouth, mind and entire body healthier.
So, Are Dentures or Dental Implants Better for You?
Dentures involve a removable partial or full set of teeth to fill in the gaps between your natural teeth. Dental implants may replace a single tooth or also a full set, but they are installed permanently into your jawbone using a screw and then capping that with a crown to closely match your natural enamel colour.
Both dentures and implants can fill in the gaps to keep you from entering that dangerous downward spiral of missing teeth. Dentures cost less than implants and rely on your gums or teeth to stabilise them in the correct position, this is often a problem as they can drop or slip out of position.
Dental implants have gained popularity recently and serve as a more permanent treatment. Although they cost more up front, implants tend to offer more advantages than dentures because they:
• Won’t slip or move, giving you more confidence when speaking, eating and even kissing.
• Maintain the health of surrounding teeth since they are anchored to your jawbone instead of relying on the surrounding teeth or gums and they allow normal chewing activity to maintain bone growth whereas some partials may block your natural teeth from this chewing exposure.
• They tend to last longer, which could save time and money on more visits to maintain dentures otherwise.
Of course, you should always consult with your dentist to determine whether dentures or dental implants make a wiser choice for you, depending on your mouth and needs. You might also ask about using implants to hold and stabilise loose or slipping dentures as a compromise solution.
The important factor is to find the treatment that is right for you with the help of your clinician.
Here at the Exeter Dental Centre we are proud to work with one of the South West’s leading implantologists, Dr Philip Bennett. To book a consultation, or find out more give our reception team a call on 01392 272350.